When I flee New York in November, it’s only on the way out that I realize how much I need a break. There’s something about lugging a suitcase down four flights of stairs, already late, that reminds me of how calm it is so many other places.
I pull my suitcase down the street, its wheels rolling unevenly over wet concrete. After fitting said suitcase under the subway turnstile and carrying it down another set of stairs, I eventually find myself a seat on the train. It’s then that I realize I’m about to have six! uninterrupted daytime hours to myself, once I make it to the flight. Almost simultaneously, I realize coffee and croissant do not make for a proper day’s nutritional or caloric intake.
The summer is all outdoors. But once the chill begins, those outdoor hours wane. I forget how much I need to be outside; I realize I barely noticed the slow effect of my inattention. I realize I’ve once again lost the balance between healthy downtime and lethargy.
As I’m leaving aloneness I recall the transition that will soon put me back into my family, connecting just long enough for it to be hard to leave. I’ll come back calmer and more peaceful, and I’ll be ready to take a deep inhale.